Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘firaaq

Anurag Kashyap finds an unusual hero to play a serial killer for the second film of the Mumbai trilogy – Nawazuddin aka Patna Presley of Emosonal Attyachaar

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 05, 2010)


Anurag Kashyap’s much talked-about Mumbai trilogy has found its third and final hero. While Aamir Khan stars in the first film, John Abraham will play the lead in the third. Now, the little-known but talented Nawazuddin who gave sterling cameo performances in 2009 in Nandita Das’s Firaaq, Kabir Khan’s New York, Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D (one of the two Patna Presleys singing Emosonal Attyachaar) and Black Friday, has been pencilled in as the lead in Kashyap’s second film in the Mumbai trilogy. It’s a huge leap for an actor from a village near Delhi.

More startling than his casting is the character that Nawazuddin plays. He plays Raman Raghav, India’s most brutal serial killer. In 1968, Raghav bludgeoned a number of pavement dwellers to death before he was caught and diagnosed with schizophrenia. (Sriram Raghavan has, in fact, made a documentary on the serial killer.)

Nawazuddin has been secretly reading up on Raman Raghav and looking at footage of the killer. When we spoke to him, Nawazuddin was taken aback. He said, “Anurag has asked me to keep it absolutely quiet. Yes, I’m playing the serial killer Raman Raghav in Anurag Kashyap’s film. It’s the biggest challenge of my career especially since superstars like Aamir and John feature in the other two films of the series.”

Nawazuddin, who has been trying to make a mark as an actor in Bollywood since 1996, has played the lead in Aamir Khan’s Peepli Live and Mangesh’s Dekh Circus too. Says the actor emotionally, “I’ve waited very long for this. I’ve struggled hard to get out of playing the cameo to the lead. Mumbai trilogy is my greatest challenge.”

Anurag Kashyap Nawazuddin

The dusky actor has made Mumbai her home – and Subodh Maskara her husband

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 05, 2010)


There aren’t very many Delhi-based Bollywood actors, but Nandita Das certainly figured high on the list. Even Aamir Khan – her co-star in 1947 Earth – had tried to convince her to move from Delhi to Mumbai to pursue her acting career, but she held strong. Now, Nandita has finally made Mumbai her home, post her recent marriage to environment entrepreneur Subodh Maskara.

Confirming the news, she sighs, “What I resisted doing for 13 long years has finally been done. I couldn’t imagine shifting to Mumbai for my career, but love did it.”

Nandita Das and Subodh Maskara

Subodh was introduced to Nandita by her friend Shahana Goswami (whom she directed last year in Firaq) and her boyfriend Milind Soman. “Milind and Shahana kept urging me to meet Subodh. But I’m the last person to believe in blind dates. But look at destiny, now I completely believe in instant love. When I was hesitant about meeting him, Subodh sent me a lovely e-mail. And I said, ‘Why not? Just have coffee with him?’ So we met. And immediately I knew this was it. Within five months of meeting him, I knew I wanted to marry him. We became soul mates seamlessly,” she recalls.

Nandita and Subodh got married according to Ashram Vidhi rites on January 2 at Subodh’s residence in Worli, which is now their marital home. “Only our parents – his parents and brother, my parents and my brother were there for the marriage. And of course, Shahana and Milind, who brought us together. We couldn’t possibly get married without them,” adds Nandita.

Meanwhile, friends like Paresh Rawal have been urging Nandita to direct another film. However, at the moment, she is content playing Mrs Nandita Maskara at her new home in Mumbai. So does she cook for her husband? Nandita gasps, “That would really be going too far, even further than my move from Delhi to Mumbai.”

By Joginder Tuteja, December 30, 2009 – 12:16 IST

Kareena Kapoor The likes of Imtiaz Ali, Rajkumar Santoshi, Vishal Bhardwaj, Balki and Prabhu Deva must be feeling disheartened. If only Rajkumar Hirani, Aamir Khan and Co. would have released 3 Idiots a week later, the competition was just amongst the five of them for Love Aaj Kal, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, Kaminey, Paa and Wanted respectively. However, due to the fact that 3 Idiots is a fantastic experience for millions of cine-goers and above all is pretty much fresh in audiences mind, it is the unanimous choice for one and all. Whether it is ‘aam junta’ or industry alike, there is no negative word around this movie. Instead, it has been universally hailed, acclaimed, appreciated and above all respected, which has proved once again that if a film is really well made, all bad blood is forgotten, all negative vibes are kept aside and all competition stays a distance away. Over to the Bollywood folks who (keeping certain exceptions aside) truly believe that 3 Idiots is the film of 2009.

Kareena Kapoor3 Idiots was the best film of 2009.

Sajid Khan – Best movie of the year was Avatar. Reason? It was not a film but an experience.

Shirish Kunder – For the sheer sincerity with which it has been made, 3 Idiots is simply the best by leaps and bound. Aamir has once again proved that he is the ISI mark of good cinema.

Piyush Jha3 Idiots was the best film that 2009 had to offer because it took a very relevant issue and banged home the point. Moreover, the icing on the cake was that it was thoroughly entertaining.

Kalki Koechlin Kalki – Best film of 2009 was Kaminey because it’s a furious and an intelligent film with great performances and music.

Aanand L Rai - For me the best movie in 2009 is 3 Idiots. It boasted of a brilliant screenplay and direction.

Suneel Darshan – 2009 ended on a positive note with two movies – Paa and 3 Idiots. Paa displayed refined performances by Mr. Bachchan and Vidya Balan. On the other hand 3 Idiots is a sincere attempt at entertainment with a soul.

Hasnain Hyderabadwaala – I enjoyed watching Wanted most. It was after a long time that I saw a complete masala film. Total paisa wasool!

Ramesh Taurani – Of course I believe that Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani was the best film of 2009. But so have been 3 Idiots, Paa, Wake Up Sid and Love Aaj Kal. All these films have been hugely entertaining.

Robby Grewal – It’s a one horse race – 3 Idiots.

Sadaa3 idiots was surely the best film of 2009. It was a complete film as it lacked nothing. Moreover, there was some very good message being delivered in an entertaining format.

Vaishali Desai Vaishali Desai – I loved both Avatar and 3 Idiots. Both films belonged to completely different genres. Avatar boasted of some breathtaking special effects and it was an entirely new experience. Whereas 3 Idiots is yet another cult film about the education system from Mr. Hirani.

Raksha Mistry – Call it ironical but the best of 2009 came at the very end. Yes, I am talking about 3 Idiots which is not just the best of 2009 but also one of the finest movies ever in all aspects.

Boney Kapoor – I have heard great things about 3 Idiots but I haven’t seen it yet. Of course Wanted was a complete package as it brought back the concept of hero, something which was in vogue years back when Amitabh Bachchan used to play such characters. Somehow such cinema had become extinct. Amongst other films, I also loved Love Aaj Kal. It’s entire approach was very fresh and everybody performed well. Its music was superb. The film was as mainstream as it gets and was a good blend of the old charm and new thinking. Even Paa was quite exciting. After a really long time came an Amitabh Bachchan film where he could showcase his talent. It was a neat and clean movie that really moved me. Moreover, in spite of having a sad tale on the surface, it was tackled in a very lighter vein. It reminded me of Hrisihikesh Mukherjee at his peak. Watching the film gave me the same feeling as I had when I watched Anand. Since Amitabh Bachchan’s effort didn’t show in the film, that itself reflects that how great an actor he is. Really, Imtiaz and Balki are two filmmakers to look out for. From Hollywood, it was Avatar all the way. I can’t think of a better movie visually. In fact it would take a really long time for anyone to match it technically; it has surpassed all films where technical wizardry and visual appeal is concerned. All the special effects have been taken to a different level altogether with Avatar.

Ken Ghosh – I am on a jury for an award, so I can’t really quote around the best or the worst of the year

Rohit Shetty – Best film of the year is 3 Idiots for sure. It makes you feel so good and happy after watching it.

Jagmohan Mundhra3 Idiots was the best movie of 2009.

Tanushree Dutta Tanushree Dutta - For me, the best films of 2009 would be 3 Idiots and Avatar.

Ruslaan MumtazKaminey was the best film of the year along with 3 Idiots

Sujoy Ghosh – I haven’t seen 3 Idiots but I’ll go with Paa. It’s a film which made me feel very good about life. It’s a film which took some of my fears away. It’s a film which taught me to look at different things normally. I really appreciated that. It’s a film which didn’t try to squeeze my balls for emotions. And of course Mr. Bachchan, Vidya, Balki, Illayaraja and P.C. Sreeram made it all possible.

Sophie Choudry – According to me, 2009 was filled with below par cinema both in Hollywood and Bollywood. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed 3 Idiots, Kaminey and Paa. They were all brilliantly made films.

Urvashi SharmaBaabarr is one of my favourite films from 2009 but I think 3 Idiots has broken all the records and is the best Hindi film of the year. From Hollywood, I loved both The Hangover and Avatar.

Kunal Deshmukh – I loved Avatar because it educates us to think ahead and learn so much. And of course 3 Idiots, as we all know today, is a fabulous movie. It brought home a message without shoving it down your throat.

Tusshar Kapoor Ananth Mahadevan – Though Paa and 3 Idiots are what I would define as ideal mainstream cinema (they made cine-going a pleasure after what seemed ages), if one has to select a film, my choice would be Nandita Das’ Firaaq. The four stories were moving accounts of the aftermath of human folly fuelled by political insanity. The critical eye may pick a few bones of contention, but the film was relevant, urgent, well enacted and most importantly, credibly treated.

Tusshar Kapoor – Which movie is best for me in 2009? Obviously, there is going to be just one answer – 3 Idiots.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, December 31, 2009 – 12:22 IST

Best Film
3 Idiots
Dev D
Kaminey
Love Aaj Kal
Paa

Best Director
Anurag Kashyap – Dev D
Imtiaz Ali – Love Aaj Kal
R Balki – Paa
Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots
Vishal Bhardwaj – Kaminey

Best Actor (Male)
Aamir Khan – 3 Idiots
Amitabh Bachchan – Paa
Ranbir Kapoor – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
Ranbir Kapoor – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Saif Ali Khan – Love Aaj Kal
Shahid Kapoor – Kaminey

Best Actor (Female)
Deepika Padukone – Love Aaj Kal
Kareena Kapoor – 3 Idiots
Katrina Kaif – New York
Priyanka Chopra – Kaminey
Priyanka Chopra – What’s Your Raashee?
Vidya Balan – Paa

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male)
Abhimanyu Singh – Gulaal
R Madhavan – 3 Idiots
Rishi Kapoor – Love Aaj Kal
Rishi Kapoor – Luck By Chance
Sharman Joshi – 3 Idiots

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female)
Arundhati Naag – Paa
Divya Dutta – Delhi-6
Gauhar Khan – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Neha Dhupia – Raat Gayi Baat Gayi
Shahana Goswami – Firaaq

Best Actor in a Negative Role
Amole Gupte – Kaminey
Boman Irani – 3 Idiots
Kay Kay Menon – Gulaal
Mahesh Manjrekar – Wanted
Manish Choudhary – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year

Best Actor in a Comic Role
D Santosh – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Omi Vaidya – 3 Idiots
Paresh Rawal – De Dana Dan
Sanjay Mishra – All The Best
Vinay Pathak – Raat Gayi Baat Gayi

Best Background Music
Amit Trivedi – Dev D
Ilaiyaraja – Paa
Salim-Sulaiman – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Shantanu Moitra, Atul Raninga, Sanjay Wandrekar – 3 Idiots
Vishal Bhardwaj – Kaminey

Best Music
A R Rahman – Delhi-6
Pritam – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
Pritam – Love Aaj Kal
Pritam – Tum Mile
Vishal Bhardwaj – Kaminey

Best Playback Singer Female
Kavita Seth – Iktara – Wake Up Sid
Rekha Bhardwaj – Genda Phool – Delhi-6
Shreya Ghoshal – Zoobi Doobi – 3 Idiots
Shilpa Rao – Mudi Mudi – Paa
Sunidhi Chauhan – Mere Sang – New York

Best Lyrics
Amitabh Bhattacharya – Emosanal Attyachaar – Dev D
Irshad Kamil – Chor Bazari – Love Aaj Kal
Javed Akhtar – Sapnon Se Bhare Naina – Luck By Chance
Piyush Mishra – Ranaji – Gulaal
Prasoon Joshi – Man Ko Ati Bhavey – London Dreams

Best Story
Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots
Anurag Kashyap, Aparna Malhotra, Raj Singh Chaudhary, Sanjay Maurya – Gulaal
Imtiaz Ali – Love Aaj Kal
Nandita Das, Shuchi Kothari – Firaaq
R Balki – Paa

Best Screenplay
Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra – 3 Idiots
Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane – Dev D
Imtiaz Ali – Love Aaj Kal
Pankaj Advani – Sankat City
R Balki – Paa

Best Dialogue
Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots
Imtiaz Ali – Love Aaj Kal
Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane – Dev D
R Balki – Paa
Vishal Bhardwaj – Kaminey

Best Editing
Aarti Bajaj – Dev D
Aarti Bajaj – Love Aaj Kal
Anil Naidu – Paa
Meghna Manchanda Sen, Sreekar Prasad – Kaminey
Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots

Best Sound
Bishwadeep Chatterjee, Nihar Ranjan Samel – 3 Idiots
Dileep Subramaniam – Love Aaj Kal
Sanjay Maurya, Allwin Rego – Dev D
Shajith Koyeri, Subhash Sahu, P M Satheesh – Kaminey
Tapas Nayak – Paa

Best Special Effects
Charles Darby – Aladin
Prime Focus Ltd – Blue

Best Cinematography
C.K. Muraleedharan – 3 Idiots
P.C. Sreeram – Paa
Rajeev Ravi – Dev D
Shankar Raman – Frozen
Tassaduq Hussain – Kaminey

Best Art Directon
Acropolis, Rajnish Hedaa, Sumit, Snigdha Basu – 3 Idiots
Sabu Cyril – Aladin
Samir Chanda – Delhi-6
Samir Chanda – Kaminey
Sukanta Panigrahy, Helen Jones – Dev D

Best Choreography
Ahmed Khan – Prem Ki Naiiyya – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
Avit Dias – Aal Izz Well – 3 Idiots
Bosco- Caesar – Zoobi Doobi – 3 Idiots
Prasanna – Marjaani – Billu
Baawre – Vaibhavi Merchant – Luck By Chance

Best Action
James D Bomalick – Blue
Huan-Chiu Ku – Chandni Chowk To China
Shyam Kaushal – Kaminey
Tinu Verma – Acid Factory
Vijayan Master – Wanted

Most Promising Newcomer (Male)
Amole Gupte – Kaminey
Chandan Roy Sanyal – Kaminey
Navin Kaushik – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Omi Vaidya – 3 Idiots

Most Promising Newcomer (Female)
Gauhar Khan – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Giselle Monteiro – Love Aaj Kal
Jesse Randhawa – Gulaal
Kalki Koechlin – Dev D
Mahie Gill – Dev D

Most Promising Debut Director
Ayan Mukerji – Wake Up Sid
Nandita Das – Firaaq
Pankaj Advani – Sankat City
Shivajee Chandrabhushan – Frozen
Zoya Akhtar – Luck By Chance

Best Child Artiste
Jahan Bativala – Little Zizou
Iyanah Bativala – Little Zizou
Rahul Kumar – 3 Idiots
Parzan Dastur- Sikandar
Pratik Katare – Paa

Best Ensemble Cast
Delhi-6
Firaaq
Gulaal
Luck By Chance
Sankat City

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

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Rita

RENUKA SHAHANE TURNS DIRECTOR!

Everyone who has seen ‘Hum Aapke Hai Koun..!(HAHK) must be aware of this actor. In the film, she played Pooja, Prem’s (Salman Khan) elder sister who meets with a tragic death. Renuka Shahane had become very popular after this film. She also acted in some of the sitcoms earlier. Although she became a known face after HAHK, she wasn’t seen in many films. But now she’s back as a director. Her first film, a Marathi one, titled Rita, is all set to release tomorrow. Renuka Shahane is also there in the film along with Pallavi Joshi, Suhasini Mulay, Mohan Agashe and others. Jackie Shroff also has an important role in the film. Rita in fact is Jackie’s first Marathi film. Surprisingly, just last week, he was seen as a Punjabi farmer in Kisaan.

Rita is adapted from a Marathi novel Rita Welingkar written by the eminent critic Shanta Gokhale, who is also Renuka’s mother. One look at the promo of the film proves that Renuka has sensitively handled the film and will surely impress the audiences. Co-incindentally, women debut directors have fared exceptionally well this year. Zoya Akhtar’s Luck By Chance was a top-notch product while Firaaq by Nandita Das was one of the most impactful films of this year.

The reason why I wrote about this film is because Renuka Shahane stays just a minute away from my house! She used to stay there with her mother until she got married. She occasionally visits her mother but still, I haven’t seen her even once. But I had a chance to meet his husband, actor Ashutosh Rana. I remember the date quite well-it was Jan 5, 2003. My friend stays in the building opposite Renuka Shahane’s and both these buildings share a common compound. I and my friends were playing there when a car stopped outside the compound and Ashutosh Rana came out. He was dressed as a neta-it was the get-up for his film, maybe. He went straight to Renuka’s house. At that time, I didn’t even know that Renuka Shahane’s home is located there and that Rana is her husband! After my knowledge was updated about this, I and my pals decided to take his autograph. I quickly went to my house and got a diary. We all were too scared to press the bell of the house. Finally, I went ahead and did the needful. Renuka’s mother (Ashu’s mother-in-law Shanta Gokhale, who wrote the novel from where Rita is adapted) opened the door. I told her about our wish to take Ashutosh’s autograph. She smiled, pinched my cheeks and went inside to call the actor! He came out and was too glad to fulfill our wish!

From that day onwards, whenever I hear about Renuka Shahane or even Ashutosh Rana, this incident instantly comes to my mind!
—————————————
SHOB CHARITRO KALPONIK RELEASED

SCK

Just imagine-a Bipasha Basu film released last Friday and hardly anyone knows about it. The film in question is Shob Charitro Kalponik (SCK), a Bengali film by the well-known director Rituparno Ghosh. The film had created some hype ever since news spread that Bipasha will be seen in a Bengali film. Last I had heard was Bips’ voice is dubbed and that Big Pictures have backed the film.

The film got a good release in Kolkata. In Mumbai it was released only in 2 multiplexes, 1 show in each and both these multiplexes are in South Mumbai. It is shocking that a Bipasha Basu film got such hype-less release. English subtitles were also there and so even non-Bengali viewers would have surely come to see the film, provided the film was promoted well and adequate shows were organized in more multiplexes throughout the city.

4 years back, even Antar Mahal (AM), starring Abhishek Bachchan, Soha Ali Khan, Jackie Shroff and Raima Sen had released without any hype. But compared to SCKAM had more number of shows. Critics had reviewed AM but in the case of SCK, I didnt see it’s single review in any newspaper. Maybe even the critics werent aware of its release! Very unfortunate!


Nandita Das, now chairperson of the Children’s Film Society, says her head is buzzing with ideas
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 26, 2009)

Nandita Das

Taking over the mantle of the chairperson of the troubled Children’s Film Society  of India (CFSI), which actors like Jaya Bachchan and Hema Malini assumed and did their best to cope with, is not an easy task. Her predecessors may not have hit the bull’s eye, but that hasn’t dimmed Nandita Das’s enthusiasm at all. She’s game for the challenge.

Nandita, who was informed about her new responsibility three days ago, says, “I have always felt disturbed by the fact that children’s films have not been taken seriously. We all feel bad about the kind of stuff kids watch, but why complain when we don’t provide them with an alternative? Yes, I’ve been asked to be the Chairperson of the Children’s Film Society of India . It is a lot of work, but it is something which is much needed, so I have agreed to do it. Let’s see what I will be able to do, but I will try my best.”

Though this new role is an honorary post, Nandita intends to take her duties seriously. “The list of gratis work is just expanding. Whether my bread is being earned or not, I am sure getting to be part of a lot of interesting and challenging things,” she says.

Although Nandita is currently in Durban, where she is screening her directorial debut, Firaaq, she has already chalked out a modus operandi. Nandita says, “I have carried some reading material that I&B Minister, Ambika Soni, has given me to acquaint myself with this new responsibility. I plan to meet all the people already involved in it to understand the system. I first want to see what they already have in the archives. Then I plan to sieve the best and see how the work can be distributed.”

Creating a script bank for the CFSI is also on her agenda. “I want to create script committees to get some good scripts that are fun, imaginative and intelligent. The potential is huge and my mind is already buzzing with ideas!” she says.

New York4

Although Yash Raj Films is considered by many as a production house churning out only romantic and goody-goody films, the fact is that they too have taken the less-trodden path and came up with fantastic and meaningful hatke films (Kabul Express and Chak De! India are the classic examples). Their new offering, New York, too is another hatke flick from this production house. What is impressive about New York is its narrative-it deals with serious topics like terrorism and post-9/11 scenario but at the same time, its impact doesn’t limit itself only to niche audiences. It’s a meaningful film, which caters to all kinds of audiences. And that’s its biggest achievement!

The story of the movie: Omar (Neil Mukesh) arrives at New York to pursue a Master’s Degree at New York State University. Here he meets Sameer aka Sam (John Abraham) and Maya (Katrina Kaif) who become his best buddies. Time flies fast and it was soon time for college to get over. At this point of time, the 9/11 attack occurs which forever changes the lives of these three friends. How this incident affects them adversely and what steps they take to resurrect is what the film is about.

New York strikes a fine balance-it is dealt with maturity and yet manages to strike a chord with audiences of all ages. It is not at all formulaic and the story is narrated in a not-so-usual and interesting style. Also the film doesn’t waste time at all-the story begins from the first scene itself. There are no unnecessary songs, no unwanted scenes-the focus is just on the three main characters.

There are several scenes in the film that would remain etched in one’s mind. The most unforgettable sequence of the film is undoubtedly John Abraham’s flashback. This wonderfully shot and enacted scene will astonish everyone for sure. Even globally acclaimed Khuda Kay Liye failed to give such an outstanding description of the torture cells.

The only flaw was that the film, particularly in the 2nd half, got a little bit confusing at places but still this can be overlooked. However, the film succeeds in giving a powerful message and also an excellent insight about the chaotic situation post 9/11 created by the Bush administration. It also raises a question about the terrorists who were responsible for the 9/11 attacks-what did they achieve by those cowardly attacks which they considered as great? In the name of jihad, they ended up devastating the lives of so many people in US who were detained as terrorist suspects.

The climax of the film may seem unacceptable to many. However, the final scene of the film is very impressive.

New York5

All the four main actors of the film manage to give one of the best performances of their respective careers! No matter how hard John Abraham tried to give a brilliant performance in the past, he always ended up receiving appreciation for his fab body. This was evident especially during Dostana. However for New York, he would surely be liked by everyone for his brilliant performance only! He rocks the screen from the first scene itself and manages to give a praiseworthy performance. Watch out for him in the torture scenes and in the climax. Keep rocking, John!

As expected, Neil Mukesh gives yet another outstanding performance after Johnny Gaddaar! In fact, it was Neil who dominates the first half and does a great job. Like John, he too impresses a lot in the climax. Katrina Kaif surprises! She was always accused of not being to able to act and speak in Hindi. Post-New York, she would be considered not only as a glam-doll but also as a wonderful actor.

Irrfan Khan as FBI Agent Roshan as usual comes up with an outstanding performance. He also provides some comic moments in between! Nowaz, who played Shahana Goswami’s husband in Firaaq, has a small but an important role in the film and he does a fine job.

Pritam’s music is good, but not as great as his other works. Two songs stand out-Hai Junoon and Mere Sang. In addition, the film also has two instrumentals composed by Julius Packiam which are intriguing and haunting. Mere Sang is probably one of the best picturised songs of the year. Watch out for the scene in the song when John is walking down the street and a group of protestors pass by carrying textual posters of ‘Buck Fush’!

Aseem Mishra’s cinematography was perfect. The lensman performs better in the detention scenes. Rameshwar Bhagat’s editing was flawless.

Aditya Chopra surprises as the writer of the film. It’s great to see a person like him coming up with such out-of-the-box stories. Sandeep Shrivastava, who earlier wrote the screenplay of Ab Tak Chappan, excels through his screenplay and dialogues. Screenplay was unique since the film doesn’t pace ahead in the typical way.

Kabir Khan had already proved himself with his first feature film, Kabul Express. However, the film failed to do a terrific job at the BO since it was more of a docu-drama. However, in New York, he manages to come up with a sensitive, intelligent film that caters to a large audience.

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Omar detained by Roshan
2.   Sam’s entry
3.   The 9/11 attack
4.   The intermission point
5.   Sam’s flashback
6.   The song ‘Mere Sang’
7.   All scenes of Nowaz
8.   The last 20 minutes of the film

On the whole, New York is a brilliant film to say the least. It not only gives a message, but throws a light on the wrong-doings of the Bush administration which devastated the lives of many. At the same time, it raises many questions. Brilliantly executed, wonderfully performed, New York will surely be remembered for a long time!

My rating-**** out of 5!

New York6

Total Ten

QASAB HANGED (IN REEL LIFE!)

Any disaster or catastrophe, whether natural or man-made, is enough to trigger off the imagination of a film writer. That’s why, in a year, there are at least 3 films churned out which are based on real-life events. Last year’s Mumbai Meri Jaan was based on the Mumbai serial train blasts. Firaaq, released in March, threw light on the post-Gujarat riots scenario. Hollywood has produced so many films on 9/11 attacks that I have lost count (in Bollywood, Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota and Madhoshi are the films I remember which were based on these attacks).

The recent 26/11 attack is also going to be used as plots in many upcoming films. In fact, 26/11, Terror in Taj, CST and lots of such titles are already registered! Although all such films are still in the scripting stage, one of them is already ready. Titled Total Ten, it’s a B-grade film in which the actors in the film play the real characters. Rajan Verma plays Ajmal Qasab, the lone terrorist captured in these attacks. The names of other actors and their characters are as follows:
1.   Homi Wadia-Hemant Karkare
2.   Sudesh Berry-Vijay Salaskar
3.   Ashish Vidyarthi-Tukaram Ombale
4.   Ashok Kulkarni-Ashok Kamte
5.   Aroon Bakshi-Maulana Masood Azhar (founder of Jaish-e-Mohammad)

TT

Besides, a lot of small-time actors play the role of the other 9 terrorists who entered into Mumbai on the fateful day. However, there’s no information yet regarding who plays the role of R R Patil and Shivraj Patil. The shooting of the film commenced in about 2-3 months after the attacks and the film is now almost ready. It’s made on a meager Rs. 3 crores. The film is mostly shot in Mumbai and that too in real locations like CST, outside Taj Hotel, Oberoi-Trident etc. According to Rajan Verma, who plays Qasab, the makers of the film have tried to make the film as realistic as possible. The film shows the journey of terrorists to India by boat, how they survived in sea on dry-fruits, how they carried their operations etc. And interestingly, the films end with Qasab getting hanged!

The film also had its share of problems. It was reported in Feb that Rajan Verma was assaulted by 2 unindentified men after they learnt that he is playing Qasab’s role. Also, the film is criticized by various people who feel that 26/11 episode should not be touched by any filmmaker. Both these incidents don’t make any sense. Talking about first one, what is the justification behind attack on Verma? He’s just an actor doing his job. Even if Verma had dropped out of the film after that incident, the makers would have replaced him with another actor. Then were those two fools going to attack this new actor too?

Also, how can making a film on 26/11 be morally wrong when movies on similar real life events are already made. So many films are based on the two World Wars in which millions of lives were lost. In India too, there’s a film churned out on every incident from Partition to 1962/65/71/99 Wars, Kashmir issue, emergency, Bombay Riots, 1993 Blasts, Godhra riots, 2006 Train Blasts etc. Many of such films are hugely acclaimed. Then why not one be allowed to make a film on 26/11 too?

Coming back to Total Ten, the film has aroused curiosity. Its promotion and release date will now decide its fate at the BO. And I noticed an interesting thing about it- one of the film’s producer is Hariom Sharma who runs RAMGOPAL Productions!! Coincidence?!
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AAMIR’S RAAKH TO RE-RELEASE

One of Aamir Khan’s oldest films, Raakh, released 20 years back is all set to re-release on June 12 with 200 prints. Co-incidentally, I reviewed this film just 3 weeks back. Back in 1989, it was released in just 3 cities with 6 prints. This time, though, the film has better chances to fare at the BO, also because it’s widely acclaimed. And fortunately, the entire film is re-mastered and most of the scenes of the film which weren’t visible properly before due to bad light are quite visible now! So, all the Aamir Khan fans who have missed the film earlier can now watch it on the big screen. June 12-don’t forget! And below is the exclusive video from this ‘rare’ film (Video Source: BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM)!

This article first appeared on MouthShut.com:http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/hhcjrltrn/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk49

kambakkht-ishq

2009-WORST YEAR EVER FOR BOLLYWOOD?

April is about to end and still there’s not a single film till now which has managed to become a Super Hit this year. In fact, 14 films released in March and all of them were small or medium budget films and some of them were well made. Barring Little Zizou (which got a limited release and was made on a very low cost) all the other 13 films-13B, Dhoondte Reh Jaoge, Karma Aur Holi, Gulaal, Jai Veeru, Aloo Chaat, Barah Aana, Firaaq, Lottery, Straight, Aa Dekhen Zara, Ek-The Power Of One and Videsh were flops at the Box office! April also started on a bad note with Akshay Kumar starrer 8×10 Tasveer failing at the BO. Then the strike commenced which led to the release of only B-grade and small budget films like Ek Se Bure Do, Pal Pal Dil Ke Ssaat, Coffee House, Chowrasta, Meri Padosan and also the dubbed Dashavatar. And as expected, all these films also failed to attract audiences to theatres.

And regarding the tussle between multiplexes and producers, 20 days have already passed and still there have been almost negligible communication between the two parties. As a result, the tussle may go on for a few more days. What is disgusting is that even after the strike is called off, films would not immediately start releasing. The promotion of all forthcoming films is put on hold. So if the strike is called off on May 1 for instance, the promotion of forthcoming films would begin by May 3 and some small projects may get a release 2-3 weeks later (May 15/May 22).

The multiplexes v/s producers tiff has already created negative consequences. Multiplexes are suffering since hardly any audience is there for their films. As a result, all multiplexes have shut down some of the screens in order to save money. Producers are hit too since films are ready but they can’t release it. Single screen theatres are suffering losses too for no reason of theirs. And moviegoers are dying to watch a good film but they’ll have to wait a little longer. The release of prominent forthcoming films has been postponed too. Kambakkht Ishq had blocked the date May 29 months back. But now, the film has been shifted ahead. Yash Raj Films’ have postponed the release of Kabir Khan’s New York from May 1 to June 12. Shahid-Priyanka starrer Kaminey hasn’t changed its release date (June 5) though.

But let’s not blame the producers and distributors for all this. They flagged off the tussle because they didn’t have any other choice. They took this hard decision so that in future, films can release week after week with no fear of multiplex mafia.

However, there’s one film, titled 99, which is all set to release on May 8 in spite of the multiplex issue going on. This comic film stars Kunal Khemu, Soha Ali Khan, Cyrus Broacha and Mahesh Manjrekar. The producers of this film are not registered under United Forum (which flagged off the strike) and therefore, are free to release their film whenever they want. The film looks seems funny and all the film-starved audiences should definitely go for it! Also, producers need not worry since 99 is not going to amass huge profits for the multiplexes ! The promo of the film is uploaded below. Do check!

firaaq2

Did the founder of any religion ever preach violence? Did any of these holy men give his followers an allowance to kill people of other faiths? NO is the answer. Yet, our country has faced riots and serious communal tensions, most of them in the last 100 years. The people have prejudices against a particular community and with such an atmosphere, peace can never exist. Politicization of religion has further ruined the whole picture. Firaaq, a bold attempt by Nandita Das, throws light on the trauma faced after communal riots.

The story of the movie: The story is set in Ahmedabad, a month after the horrible Gujarat riots in 2002. The story has six parallel characters:
1. Muneera (Shahana Goswami), married and has newborn baby, and is shocked because her house was burnt down in the riots. She has a friend-her only confidante who is a Hindu.
2. Muneera’s husband Nowaz (Hanif) who is angry of being the victim of Hindu atrocities and along with few of his aides, wants to seek revenge
3. A battered Hindu housewife, Aarti (Deepti Naval), has an anti-Islamic husband Sanjay (Paresh Rawal). Aarti is helpless with whatever is happening around her. She feels the guilt but can’t overcome it.
4. Sameer Sheikh (Sanjay Suri), married to a Hindu lady Anuradha (Tisca Chopra), fears due to his Muslim identity, and wants to run away to Delhi.
5. Mohsin (Mohammad Samad), a young boy, who has lost almost all his family members, is wandering on the streets, searching for his missing father.
6. Khan (Naseeruddin Shah), a musician, a saint, who has his own set of ideas he strongly believes in until the riots turn his world upside down.

Firaaq’s first scene is scary. In fact, there hasn’t been any such chilling scene ever before in any film. While the film may be dubbed as showing only one side of the entire incident, it’ll be completely wrong to term it as pro-Muslim. Sure, the film shows the trauma faced by the Muslims, but it doesn’t become judgmental at any point or takes sides.

All characters in the film are well-sketched. The developments that take place in the narrative are highly engrossing. Also, the film is just 100 minutes long, but packs in so much in such a short duration! Though the film is highly applauding, it is the climax which seemed too inappropriate, especially in Shahana Goswami’s track.

Prior to the film’s release, a leading political party wanted to ban the film and criticized that a film of such a nature is being purposefully released during Elections with the help of a rival political party. I don’t know whether this is the truth but I am really glad that Firaaq released at such a time. The film shows the hard, bitter truth of the situation during the Gujarat riots. The film indirectly helps us get our facts right and choose the right government. Any government or its head involved in such heinous crimes and activities doesn’t deserve at all to get a chance to run the country at all.

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Performance-wise, each actor gave his best. However, four actors were outstanding-Shahana Goswami, Mohamaad Samad, Deepti Naval and Sanjay Suri. Shahana Goswami was splendid. She was completely into her character and it’s difficult to believe she was the same actor who was there in ‘Rock On!!’. She is surely a powerhouse of talent and has a long way to go!

Mohamaad Samad’s innocent sad face mirrors the harsh atrocities of the riots. Surely, a mind-blowing performance! Watch out for him in the final scene. Deepti Naval, too, was fantastic and did a perfect job. Same for Sanjay Suri. Both Suri and Naval essayed a role which was strong and both of them did total justice to it.

Naseeruddin Shah as always gives a splendid performance. Paresh Rawal was perfect as the Gujarati businessman. Tisca Chopra as usual did a great job. It was a great to see her after a long time, after Taare Zameen Par. Nowaz did a fine job and was amazing in the pre-climax. Amruta Subhash as Jyoti was excellent. Raghuveer Yadav, Dilip Joshi, Sumeet Raghavan and Sucheta Trivedi were good.

Rajat Dholakia and Piyush Kanojia’s background score completed suited the mood of the film. Ravi K Chandran, the talented cinematographer who has worked in Ghajini, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Saawariya, Fanaa etc was outstanding. It’s great to see him working in such a film even after having worked in big-budget films.

Gautam Sen’s art direction was authentic. Same can be said for editing and sound design. Dialogues were brilliant and the film also has lots of Gujarati and English dialogues (sub-titles included) to give it a realistic feel.

Nandita Das and Shuchi Kothari wrote the story and screenplay of the film (the latter is from Ahmedabad and had witnessed the riots). Both of them came up with a brilliant plot, based on hundreds of real incidents which took place during the riots. What’s unique about the story is it focuses on the impact of fear, anxiety and prejudices on relationships during such turbulent times and not on the course of the riots.

Nandita Das’ direction was simply awesome. She had already proved her worth as an actor, having acted in many controversial films and being critically acclaimed. Her choice of story for her first film itself is worth applauding. She’ll surely be counted as one of the finest directors of Indian film industry in near future!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1. The first scene
2. All scenes of Shahana’s track
3. Anuradha and Sanjay’s collision
4. Hanif and his aides’s plan to kill Mehul
5. Khan Sahab with the doctor
6. Sameer revealing his fears
7. Sameer at the omlet seller’s
8. Raghuvir Yadav injured
9. Hanif and his aides inside the shop and the chase by the cops
10. The final scene of Mohsin

On the whole, Firaaq is a brilliant docu-drama. It’s well executed and gives a wonderful account of the shameful incident. Some of the scenes shock and hits the viewer like a pile of bricks. It raises several questions, one of which being-is our country really secular?

My rating-**** out of 5!

(This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Firaaq-164253-1.html)



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